Completed

Please note: you must have submitted a mandatory project outline before you can submit a complete application for funding for a Centre for Clinical Treatment Research.

Last updates

07 May 2021

The call text has been updated with information on our co-funding with the Norwegian Cancer Society. Read more under About the call for proposals. 

Purpose

A research centre is a targeted, long-term investment to strengthen and further develop outstanding and creative research and innovation groups.

The overall objective of a Centre for Clinical Treatment Research is to establish clinical research groups that help to improve treatments for Norwegian patients by way of outstanding research.

Important dates

06 Jan 2021

Deadline for submitting the mandatory project outline

24 Mar 2021

Date call is made active

12 May 2021

Application submission deadline

01 Jan 2022

Earliest permitted project start

01 Apr 2022

Latest permitted project start

31 Mar 2030

Latest permitted project completion

Important dates

About the call for proposals

You must have submitted a mandatory project outline by the deadline 6 January 2021 to submit a complete application for funding for a Centre for Clinical Treatment Research (FKB).

The Research Council aims to start up two to three new Centres for Clinical Treatment Research in 2022. 

The Research Council is entering into a co-financing contract of up to NOK 80 million with the Norwegian Cancer Society. Partial financing is only relevant if the Portfolio Board for Health has nominated a cancer related center for allocation through the ordinary application processing. For centers that are assessed to qualify for a grant the Norwegian Cancer Society will clarify which ones have sufficiently high cancer relevance.

Applicants must familiarise themselves with the grounds for the call by reading the following documents:

The Norwegian-language call for proposals is the legally binding version.

The Center for Clinical Treatment Research (FKB) has some exceptions from the requirements and guidelines above, these are:

  • point 2.4 .: FKB has a requirement to include user partners, but not a minimum number requirement.
  • point 3.2 .: For FKB, it is not a requirement that the user partners must have a majority in the center's board or that the chairman of the board represents one of the user partners. Patients and / or patient organizations must be represented on the board and / or advisory body.
  • point 4.5 .: FKB does not require that all self-financing must come from the user partners.

We had an applicant webinar about the announcement in November, admissions and more information from this can be found here. See also the presentation from the applicant webinar.

Who is eligible to apply?

  • Only applicants who have submitted a mandatory project outline by the deadline of 6 January 2021 are eligible to apply. Applications that are not based on such a project outline will be rejected.
  • Approved Norwegian research organisations in binding cooperation with relevant actors and with access to patients may apply.

Who can participate in the project?

Requirements relating to the Project Owner
The research organisation listed as the Project Owner in the application form must have authorised the submission of the grant application to the Research Council. The application must be aligned with the Project Owner’s strategies.

Requirements relating to the project manager
You must have an approved doctorate. A referee panel will assess the project manager’s professional expertise and suitability to carry out the project. Experience of managing large, complex projects must be documented.

Requirements relating to partners

  • The center's research shall be carried out by one or more research organizations in actual collaboration with relevant actors outside the research sector, e.g. within business, public enterprises or voluntary organizations.
  • The grant application must describe how the project incorporates the objectives of all the partners.
  • All partners must actively contribute to planning and following up the project (or research) and disseminating and utilization of the centre’s results.
  • The centre may have foreign partners, and it must be documented how these will contribute to reaching the centre’s goals.

What can you seek funding for?

Scope of funding

  • You can apply for a maximum of NOK 160 million distributed over an eight-year period, distributed with a maximum of NOK 100 million in the first 5 years and a maximum of NOK 60 million in the last 3 years. The funding for the last three years will be decided on the basis of the outcome of a mid-term evaluation of the centre.
  • The center can apply to the Research Council for NOK 12-20 million per year.
  • The Research Council can cover up to 50 per cent of the centre’s costs. Overall, the Project Owner and partners must cover at least 50 per cent of the centre’s total costs. Participants' own contributions to financing the centre can be given as cash contributions, working hours for clinical and/or research staff managed by the center, access to the use of necessary infrastructure and treatment facilities and any other secure long-term financing at the time of application. Other project support from the Research Council can not be used as self-funding.
  • You can apply for funding to cover the actual costs necessary to carry out the project. Read more about what to enter in the project budget on the Research Council’s website.
  • Stays abroad for doctoral and post-doctoral fellows must be covered within the framework of the project. FKBs will therefore not be covered by the Research Council’s call for Funding for Research Stays Abroad for Doctoral and Postdoctoral Fellows.

Conditions for funding
State aid will not be granted through this application type. The project is to be implemented by means of effective collaboration as defined in the state aid rules:

‘Collaboration between at least two independent parties to exchange knowledge or technology, or to achieve a common objective based on the division of labour where the parties jointly define the scope of the collaborative project, contribute to its implementation and share its risks, as well as its results. One or several parties may bear the full costs of the project and thus relieve other parties of its financial risks. Contract research and provision of research services are not considered forms of collaboration.’

Funding awarded to a research organisation is only to go to the organisation’s non-economic activity. It does not therefore constitute state aid. The Research Council requires a clear separation of accounts for the organisation’s economic and non-economic activities.

Undertakings may not receive funding to cover project costs.

Ownership of project results must be regulated to ensure that undertakings participating in the centre do not receive indirect state aid from participating research partners. The regulation of ownership must therefore be in compliance with paragraph 28 of the EFTA Surveillance Authority’s guidelines for state aid for research and development and innovation. This means that ownership of IPR from the project must be allocated to the different project partners in a way that satisfactorily reflects their work packages, contributions and respective interests

Medical and health-related studies involving human participants
For medical and health-related studies involving human participants, the Research Council stipulates special requirements and guidelines for prospective registration of studies and disclosure of results.

Scientific articles and research data

The Project Owner (research organisation) is responsible for selecting which archiving solution(s) to use for storing research data generated during the project. The Project Owner must specify the planned solution(s) in connection with the revised grant proposal.

Relevant thematic areas for this call

The overall objective of this call is to establish clinical research groups that help to improve treatments for Norwegian patients by way of outstanding research. For more detailed information, see Information for applicants for a Centre for Clinical Treatment Research (link to the document under the section ‘About the call for proposals’ above).

Health

Practical information

Requirements for this application type

Applications must be created and submitted via My RCN Web. You may revise and resubmit your grant application form multiple times up to the application submission deadline. We recommend that you submit your application as soon as you have filled in the application form and included all mandatory attachments. After the deadline, it is the most recently submitted version of the grant application that will be processed.

  • The application and all attachments must be submitted in English.
  • All mandatory attachments must be included.
  • All attachments must be uploaded in PDF format.
  • Requirements relating to the Project Owner (research organisation) must be satisfied.
  • Requirements relating to the partners must be satisfied.

Mandatory attachments

  • Project description of up to 20 pages in length. The project description must use the designated template, which is available for download at the end of the call.
  • CV of the project manager (centre director) and other key personnel/work package managers in the project of up to four pages each, using the designated template at the end of the call. 
  • Letter of intent from the Project Owner. A letter of intent from the management of the Project Owner’s organisation must be attached (1–2 pages in English), stating that it will accept the obligations that follow from a contract with the Research Council. The letter must also describe what part the centre will play in the host institution’s scientific strategy.
  • Letter of intent from all registered partners. (1–2 pages in English). The letters from each of the partners must include the following:
    • The partner must confirm their intention to participate actively as a partner in the centre and describe how this will be done in practice.
    • The partner must give reasons for their interest in participating in the centre. How will the centre’s activities benefit the partner and create opportunities that would not otherwise arise without the centre?
    • The partner must summarise their contribution to the centre in the form of knowledge, expertise and, if relevant, funding, facilities and own efforts during the centre's lifetime.

Applications that do not meet the requirements listed above will be rejected.

Optional attachment
Proposals for up to five referees who are considered qualified to assess the application. The expert’s name, title, email and address must be stated. We are not obliged to use the experts proposed by the applicant. 

We will not assess documents and websites linked to in the application, or other attachments than those specified above. There is no technical validation of the content of uploaded attachments, so please ensure that you upload the correct file for the selected type of attachment.

Assessment criteria

Applications submitted for this call will be assessed on the basis of the following criteria: 

Excellence

The extent to which the centre is ambitious, innovative and advances the research front
• Assess scientific creativity and originality.
• The extent to which hypotheses and research questions are innovative and courageous.
• The extent to which the centre has the potential to generate new knowledge that advances the research front, including significant development/renewal of theories, methods, experiments or empirical knowledge.

The quality of the centre's R&D activities
• Assess the quality of research questions, hypotheses and project objectives, and the extent to which they are clearly described.
• The extent to which the theoretical approach, research design and choice of methods are credible and appropriate, and interdisciplinary perspectives are sufficiently considered.
• The extent to which research conducted at the centre takes sufficient consideration of social responsibility, ethical issues and gender dimensions.
• The extent to which the centre satisfactorily addresses users/stakeholders’ knowledge.

Impact

Potential impacts of the proposed research
• The extent to which the centre’s planned results can contribute to addressing important scientific challenges, both now and going forward.
• The extent to which the centre’s planned results can address important challenges in the sector(s), both now and going forward.
• The extent to which competence building and the centre's planned results will form the basis for value creation in the Norwegian business and/or public sector.
• The extent to which the centre describes impacts that constitute added value from organising a major research initiative as a research centre.
• The extent to which the centre’s planned results are relevant to the UN Sustainable Development Goals or have the potential to address other important societal challenges, both now and going forward.
• The extent to which the potential impacts are clearly formulated and credible.

Communication and utilisation
• Assess the quality and scope of communication and involvement activities targeting relevant stakeholders/users.
• The extent to which partners are involved in the work of utilising the centre's results.

Implementation

Quality of the project manager (centre director) and project group
• The extent to which the project manager (centre director) has relevant expertise and experience and is qualified to lead an initiative of this scale.
• The extent to which the project participants complement one another, and the project group has the necessary expertise to effectively implement the centre initiative.

The quality of the centre’s organisation and management
• The extent to which the centre will be efficiently organised, including whether the resources allocated to the different work packages are sufficient and in accordance with the centre’s objectives and deliveries.
• The extent to which the centre's tasks are distributed in a way that ensures all project participants have a clear role and sufficient resources to fulfil that role.
• The extent to which the management and governance of the centre are expediently organised, including risk and innovation management.
• The extent to which the partners contribute to the management and implementation of the centre.

The quality and extent of international cooperation
• The extent to which the scope and quality of international collaborative activities are in keeping with the centre's objectives.

Gender balance in the centre’s project group
• If the gender balance in the centre's management team (centre manager and research managers) is poor, the extent to which the centre have an expedient plan in place to support the development of researcher talents of the under-represented gender to qualify for senior-level positions?

Relevance to the call for proposals

The extent to which the project satisfies the guidelines and stipulations set out in the call for proposals.

That is to which extent the application is in line with the primary purpose of a Research Center for Clinical Treatment and responds to the purpose and guidelines of the call as described in chapter 4.1 in "Information for applicants".

Administrative procedures

After receiving the applications, the Research Council will carry out a preliminary administrative review to check that all formal requirements have been satisfied. Applications that do not meet the formal requirements will be rejected.

Each application will be assessed by a panel comprising at least three international experts from outside Norway suited to the application’s thematic area. The referee panel will assess the four criteria Excellence, Impact, Implementation and Relevance and will assign a consensus-based mark for each of these criteria. This assessment will be sent to the applicant who will be given the opportunity to comment on the assessment. The expert panel will be sent the applicant's comments and will have the opportunity to revise the assessment based on the applicant's feedback.

Applications with an average grade of 5.0 and higher will be considered by a senior committee consisting of international scientific experts and user representatives. The applicant, by the proposed center manager, must be prepared to be summoned for an interview in connection with the committee's meeting. The committee will rank the applications based on the expert panels' assessment and their own assessment where the interviews are central. The Research Council will support the committee's work with information on the center scheme, national conditions and assessments related to the relevant center's national contribution.

The portfolio board for health will make the decision on allocation. It is not desirable to start several centers that have a large overlap in professional facilities and activity.

The Research Council will, under otherwise equal conditions, prioritize applications with female center managers and centers with good women's representation in leading positions.